The Honor Oak, 1 St German's Road

The first law of Greater Brockley is that any good new place that opens in the area will instantly fill up. So the fact we've struggled to book a table here for a long time is testament both to BC's slackness and its quality. However, we got in on a Sunday lunchtime and can now report back.

The Honor Oak reopened this summer after an ambitious refurbishment, which rescued this grand old pub first from incompetence, then neglect and finally squatters.

In terms of the space and the atmosphere, the money has been well-spent. They seem to have preserved all its best features and modernised the aspects that needed refreshing. The space is cosy without being too crowded and it all works - whether you want to prop up the bar, lounge around with the papers or have lunch with friends, there are no dead zones. The front garden's effectively sheltered from the busy road too.

Booze-wise, readers who give a toss about ales and wine lists are better qualified than we are to comment, but there seemed to be plenty of choice. The food too was generally good, though not quite as flavoursome as The Talbot or The Royal Albert. Our roast pork was let down by the apple sauce, which was gloopy and insipid, like the filling of an exceedingly bland Mr Kipling apple pie.

The service was also a little slack during our visit. Having served us lunch, the waiter never returned to ask us about desert, so we got bored and asked for the bill. But at this early stage and during a very busy Sunday, a few teething problems are to be expected.

The Honor Oak represents the sort of place this area remains short of - a large traditional pub, operating to a high standard, attracting a cross-section of the local community, with the space and flexibility to fulfil a range of different roles.